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Saudi authorities arrest 19,662 illegals in one week

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 19,662 people in one week for breaching residency, work and border security regulations, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

According to an official report, a total of 12,436 people were arrested for violations of residency laws, while 4,464 were held over illegal border crossing attempts, and a further 2,762 for labor-related issues.

The report showed that among the 1,233 people arrested for trying to enter the Kingdom illegally, 65 percent were Ethiopian, 31 percent Yemeni, and 4 percent were of other nationalities.

A further 96 people were caught trying to cross into neighboring countries, and nine were held for involvement in transporting and harboring violators.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior said that anyone found to be facilitating illegal entry to the Kingdom, including providing transportation and shelter, could face imprisonment for a maximum of 15 years, a fine of up to SR1 million ($260,000), as well as confiscation of vehicles and property.

Suspected violations can be reported on the toll-free number 911 in the Makkah and Riyadh regions, and 999 or 996 in other regions of the Kingdom.


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